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June 8, 2024 – 11:29 pm | Comments Off on The Ultra Orthodox Draft40 views

Amid Israel’s war in Gaza, there is talk of drafting yeshivah students into the army to bolster its ranks. On Shavuot, we celebrate the anniversary of receiving the Torah, so I want to write about the role of Torah in war. The Torah is not just a dusty old book …

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Home » Days of Omer

Omer: Daily Steps of Improvement

Submitted by on November 2, 2005 – 4:04 amNo Comment | 2,704 views

From Egypt to Sinai

We currently
find ourselves in an intermediary period between the two Jewish
holidays of Passover and Shavuos. On Passover we celebrated the exodus
of our ancestors from Egypt and the birth of our Jewish nation. On
Shavuos we will celebrate the receiving of the Ten commandments at Mt

For two hundred
and ten years our ancestors lived in an adulterous and pagan land. They
were enslaved by a ruthless nation and were made to suffer unspeakable
horror, tortures and indignities. After a period of many years the
inevitable happened, the Jewish people began to assimilate into the
Egyptian culture.

Nevertheless, as
soon as they were freed from Egyptian bondage they immediately worked
to re-strengthen their faith and raise their level of observance. When
they were told that seven weeks hence G-d would give the Torah at Mt.
Sinai they began to celebrate and rejoice.


Counting the Days

In fact, our
ancestors were so anxious to begin their new life that they actually
counted the days in anticipation of receiving the Torah. They also
utilized these days to prepare themselves for this momentous occasion.
They purified themselves in body and soul and aspired to develop the
proper mindset required for receiving a Divine mandate.

Every year
during this seven-week period, we are commanded to count the days
before we once again receive the Torah. Every evening during the Maariv
service we pause to recite the appropriate blessing and count the
amount of days left to the holiday of Shavuos. We must remember that we
too are preparing to receive the Torah and that we too require the
cleansing and preparation.

A Time for New Resolutions

As we count the
days and weeks left before Shavuos we remember the spirit in which our
ancestors counted these days. We take advantage of this wonderful
opportunity and resolve to fulfill at least one additional Mitzvah. We
must allow these beautiful and inspiring moments to become a catalyst
for our continued service of the Almighty, for our continued adherence
to his mandate and for our continued observance of his Mitzvahs.

We must remember
that every time we put on Teffilin, every time we light Shabbos
candles, every time we give a dollar to charity we help pave the way
for the coming of Moshiach. Let us hope that our renewed commitment
will bring about the long awaited arrival of “Moshiach Tzidkeinu” our
righteous redeemer, speedily in our days.  Amen.